Blue Jays Morning Brew: Happ, Pillar, and other notes
The Toronto Blue Jays continue their series against the Tampa Bay Rays with a rare late Saturday start time in Tampa Bay tonight. Left-hander J.A. Happ is scheduled to face Chris Archer.
To help fill your day leading up to first pitch — because what else would one do on a Saturday? — enjoy some must-read coverage in this weekend edition of the Blue Jays Morning Brew.
All-time pitching performances – One of the most enjoyable reads of my week came courtesy of Jays From the Couch, where they broke down the top-10 Blue Jays pitching performances of all time according to the Game Score statistic.
You’ll see some of the usual suspects on this list, but also get treated with some surprise qualifiers like Ted Lilly. The number one game on the list brings back fond memories, with Brandon Morrow striking out 17 batters while falling just short of a no-hitter.
Superman – Keeping things on the bright side of life, take a moment to read this piece by the CBC’s Molly Woodgate on Kevin Pillar and Cullen Chisholm, a young boy from Antigonish, Nova Scotia, with cerebral palsy. Cullen, a ball player himself, wants to meet Pillar when he attends the National Challenger Baseball Jamboree at the Rogers Centre in June.
“Dad sometimes call me Superman because I’ve been through a lot,” Cullen said in a letter to Pillar that his father helped him write, “so we should hang out because we have the same nickname.”
After a family friend posted the image to Twitter, Pillar replied with a direct message. “”Remind me when it is closer and I will be there. Superman always enjoys meeting other supermen. Take care.”
More from Toronto Blue Jays News
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- Toronto Blue Jays: Has the Shift Killed Kevin Gausman’s 2022 Cy Young Hopes?
- Blue Jays: What Yusei Kikuchi’s latest stumble should mean
- Blue Jays: Alek Manoah on pace to succeed in possible postseason
- Blue Jays: Bradley Zimmer has carved himself a valuable role
A little love for J.A. – At Sportsnet, Tao of Stieb tackles the return of J.A. Happ and his curious relationship with the fans of Toronto. Still caught in their perception of Happ from his first tenure in Toronto, many have been slow to warm to the lefty despite his excellent start to the 2015 season.
More on Happ… – For VICE Sports, John Lott takes a look at the constant adjustments made by Happ in his recent surge of success. Happ also speaks about his relationship with Pittsburgh Pirates’ pitching coach Ray Searage.
“I said to Ray, ‘I’m this pitcher right now, and if I can do these things, I know I can be that pitcher. And if I can do these things 10 to 15 percent more consistent, this is where I should be. I’m tired of being right here. Let’s get there,'” Happ told Lott.
The redemption of Michael Saunders – Canadian left-fielder Michael Saunders is one of 2016’s feel-good stories after his 2015 knee injury and the botched trade for Jay Bruce. As he tells Brendan Kenndy of The Toronto Star, it’s been a difficult road to get back to where he is today.
Strike! – Over at The Globe and Mail, Robert MacLeod looks at the monstrous strikeout numbers that have plagued the Blue Jays early in 2016. Toronto sits second in the league in total strikeouts behind only the Houston Astros.